On The Ranch
Note: All the pictures on this page were captured from videotape
Meet Joy, our youngest
daughter and resident horse nut and responsible for dragging
and me into the world of horses. All I had to do, she said, was
videotape her riding and also show up for various events in which she
was competing, shoot the video, and as the old saying goes "the
rest is history." Well, not totally for it seems each day brings
a new challenge for which we have to rise to the occasion. I once
thought that when she became of age her mom and I could hook onto our
travel trailer and see the USA at a leisurely pace and have nothing
to do but just "knock around."
I am no longer retired; my video hobby has turned into a real second career and I don't sleep in every morning as once visioned. The RV is parked out back and occasionally garners a wistful look from me and thoughts of what might have been. Each horse on the place has become an extension of Joy. Now, once again, I'm looking forward to retiring... someday. And so it goes.
Now, meet Kaspur, the ranch comedian and Houdini. In this picture, the door was open and we had to move fast to keep him from coming in. Why not? He seems to think he owns the place. Between him and a twenty-two year old Arabian, Kasov, who has been on the property for about twenty years, they probably do. There is not a gate on the property that Kaspur can't open, so all gates are chained and locked and he is very good at turning on water faucets. He's not all that smart though because he forgets to turn them off. He is a notorious tool thief, especially when I'm busy mending a fence he probably broke down himself. He is very sly and stealthy too. Yes, he has a girl friend, a pretty, well bred, high stepping Foundation Quarter Horse named Hope. Kaspur is a good communicator, almost spooky, there are times when he seems to be reading my mind. I've heard it said that animals are psychic, but this guy is something else.
In this picture, left, Kaspur is headed towards Hope's stall, he had just had a bath, was beautifully groomed and immediately found the only muddy spot on the property and did what all horses like to do... roll in it! He must have been trying to get out of site for he knew he had just created a battle of wills between himself and Joy because immediately after getting all nice and dirty, She gave him another bath. I told you he was smart. He's always testing to see how far he go or what he can get away with. He loves being groomed almost as much a good roll in the dirt because he gets extra attention that way. I think he did this to get another bath and in order to get more of the special attention from Joy that he so thoroughly enjoys.
Kaspur was the central figure in a bitter lawsuit in which I filmed a powerful documentary that will soon be available on video. It is a well documented story of deceit, abuse, an exciting rescue, loyal friends and deliverance; a story of how a young woman, Joy, stood up and fought a good and noble battle for the welfare of this badly abused horse. I'll tell you now, the story has a happy ending but the trail was hard for this poor horse and the issue was often in doubt. Kaspur's only hope, Joy, was facing off against one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the state of Texas. Only determination and strength of character delivered her through the darkest times of fear and doubt. For Kaspur's sake, she could not afford to lose. This videotape will be available in the very near future and should be on the must have list of every horse owner and any person thinking about buying a horse.
To the right we see Joy, our youngest daughter, working a rescued starveling Arabian by the name of Zelon. His rescue was the result of the effort of several people. He was, in a way, dropped on us unexpectedly. When we learned his owner was going to sell him for meat, a wonderful group of people said, "no way!" Meat prices were down and so too was the horse. He probably weighed no more than five hundred pounds. Lynn Farr of the Step-by-Step Farm bought him and we continued working and caring for him until he would be strong enough to go to his new home. He captured the hearts of every body because he tried so hard and obviously wanted to please so badly. He would not be denied, nor was he. How he fell through the cracks nobody knows. He has an excellent record showing in Class "A" at Halter. He had not been ridden for some time until he met Joy. He is thriving and doing well with Lynn. Seeing as how Lynn is also a certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist, he will be performing like the regular athlete that he is in no time. She says he is a very special horse. Well now, we say Lynn is a very special person for coming through for this little guy when he really needed a friend.
Now comes Kasov. Another character. He had just seen Kaspur at the door and that meant only one thing to him...carrots! It has been said he can smell carrots all the way from the next county. I know he can! The county line borders the ranch property. These two characters are on the same wave length. The only difference is that Kasov is the elder statesman and defers to Kaspur just a bit. Kasov is really a gentle horse... that is until we're late in getting him fed and then using his age as his right of passage and throws a real temper tantrum. In his day he was a real show stopper and loved parades; he still loves to show off when people are around and he really feels "dressed up" when he's tacked up with his "competition" attire. And I thought ham only came from pigs? He invented the word.
In this picture, left, if you look closely enough you can spot several horses grazing around the ranch house. I guess what I'm really saying is the horses have the run of the place for the most part. I do enjoy sitting on the porch and have two or three horses come up and visit for awhile. Kaspur is usually the first to come by for his strokes. Well now, I think if the truth were really known, he comes by for a carrot or two or three... It is interesting because each will stand around for a short , but respectful time and then wander off, heads down and grazing their way to total contentment.
I mentioned earlier that Kaspur has a special girl friend, well here she is. Meet Hope, a persnickety mare if there ever was one and, to K's consternation, she is fickle too. Her registered name is INVESTNHOPENDREAMS and she is a Foundation Quarter Horse and goes back to Poco Bueno, Quick M Silver and Leo. Now how's that for a real mouth full of verbiage, but then too, she is quite a horse. It's fun to watch her and Kaspur. Where you see Hope, there too is Kaspur. He doesn't like for any of the other boys to get near her. She and Kaspur have been stable mates for over five years. Sounds kinda serious to me. Click here to view her pedigree.
This is Gryphon, right, he's a Quarter Horse Appendix and at the moment he's Joy's special project. He is now four years old. In this picture he was in a cantankerous mood. When Joy bought the horse he was supposed to be green broke. But guess what? He wasn't. As it turned out, he had been under saddle only two times. Did she get a surprise. In the photo at the right, he was being worked by Joy, and all of a sudden, didn't particularly like the lesson and threw a temper tantrum. Joy, however, won in the end and yes, pun was intended. He is now a gentle, well behaved horse for whom Joy has high hopes. She did say, however, that he "really bucked smooth." To see his pedigree and registered name click here.
Now here is an
unlikely pair, left. The big feller is Max our Shepherd and the
little guy fast asleep at his feet is Thor. They play real hard with
Max chasing Thor around the trees at break neck speed and then they
reverse the order where Thor chases Max and that stops traffic on the
highway. It is hilarious to watch. It was even more so when our barn
cat, Trouble, would join in the chase. As you can see Max is very
alert and doing what Shepherds do best... watching out
for his charge.
Max came to us through the help of an EMS medic who found him beside a road in the Jarrell area just after the horrendous tornado of '97. It took some time for Max to get back up to speed, but with a hundred acres to explore and lots of deer to chase, he is doing real well, just "a scoot'n and a boot'n''.
Thor in this picture is just under one year of age and weighs in at about ten pounds. Because he loves to bite ankles, he lives on the edge. He's learned that horses won't tolerate such behavior so he works on Max's ankles and, at times, taxes the patience of our noble shepherd to the near breaking point. He can always make you laugh, even if you don't feel like it. So, you can see that Thor still has a lot of puppy left in him but he is coming around pretty fast... for a Yorkie. He is a first class nut!
Now meet "Sunday" the newest resident at the ranch. She was born on Sunday, March 5, 2000 during the wee hours of the morning. Joy was all set to help Hope in the delivery. She had just about everything imaginable on hand including all the latest tips, techniques, medications and aids any expectant mother horse could possibly need or use. But out gal Hope fooled everybody. The predicter kit showed that Hope wasn't even close to foal, so Joy felt safe and secure when she went to bed the night before.
After rising early, as most ranch residents do, she took her morning inspection tour and noticed that there were too many legs in Hope's stall. Yep, on her own and not needing any of the myriad of goodies, including Joy's help, Hope fooled everyone by bring into the world a brand new foal. Welcome to the world, Sunday.
Click here for more pictures of Sunday.
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